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on 23 July 2017
So many good original short stories it's very worth it. Unlike arguably every continuation James Bond novel, it's clear that Fleming understands who 007 is, so while you are in good hands here, the casual sexism and racism here does leave even this long time 007 fan wanting to take breaks in between reading these stories.
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VINE VOICEon 9 April 2016
Ian Fleming's literary Bond is a different beast from the movie version and nowhere is that more obvious than these short stories that tell us some of the motivation behind the man.
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on 26 May 2017
A brilliant compilation of short stories, combining the cerebral and often mechanical workings of the mind of James Bond with the savage and brutal nature of his work. Compelling from start to finish.
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on 22 January 2016
This version appears to be without mistakes and is In a sensible format throughout.
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on 2 December 2015
Gift
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on 22 April 2016
great
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 9 October 2003
The eighth book published in the 007 series is not a self-contained novel, but rather a collection of five short stories—two of which are kind of shoehorned in and aren't really typical Bond pieces. The first story, "From A View To A Kill", is a pretty decent little Cold War espionage piece. In a well-crafted set piece introduction, a dispatch rider from Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers—Europe headquarters is ambushed and his documents stolen by Soviet spies. As a result of bureaucratic infighting (highly realistic, and doubtless drawn from Fleming's own intelligence experience), M sends Bond to try and figure out the security breakdown. It's a good tale, with an ingenious set of foes, probably the best story of the lot.
In "For Your Eyes Only", Bond enters highly murky waters by taking a more or less personal assignment from M to track down the killers of an old friend. It's a highly topical late '50s piece, involving a former Nazi as mastermind, and henchmen drawn from the ranks of Cuban dictator Battista. Interestingly (in hindsight), Bond expresses real sympathy with the rebel Castro's struggle! To act as M's executioner, Bond must travel to Canada and then sneak across the US border to operate in Vermont, which is kind of interesting. Things take a turn for the ridiculous when he stumbles across another revenge seeker, wielding a bow and arrow. The middle story, "Quantum of Solace" isn't a Bond story at all. Rather, it's a story of disaffected marriage told to Bond by his host after a rather boring dinner party. It's actually quite good, but has nothing to do with Bond.
"Risico" takes Bond back to action, and places him in Rome, where he is assigned to disrupt the flow of heroin into England. Fleming creates a rather prescient version of "The War on Drugs" by directing Bond to act against the insidious enemy of drugs. It's a classic Bond story in that Bond is easily duped, meets a pretty woman, meets an unlikely ally, and engages in near fatal gunplay. (And of course, at the end, the drug pipeline to England is all a nasty Soviet plot.) The final story, "The Hildebrand Rarity", is again, barely a Bond story—reducing him to observer status. He's not really on the job, but instead inexplicably agrees to hire himself out as a fishing expert in the Seychelles. Basically, he's just there as an audience for another marriage-gone-sour story. There is a villain, there is a murder, but Bond's not really a central character in it. The only real purpose to the story seems to be to allow Fleming to work out his own issues vis-à-vis American millionaires.
On the whole, these stories don't add much to the Bond canon. It would have been more interesting had Fleming chose to give us a taste of Bond's action in the Ardennes in WWII, or of the two assignments that led to his 00 designation (both of which are mentioned in Casino Royale). Still, the first story is worth a quick read, and "For Your Eyes Only" and "Risico" will be of interest to those who love the film versions.
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on 20 May 2014
A collection of five short stories make up this book:-

CHAPTER 1: FROM A VIEW TO A KILL

Whilst on his way to make a delivery on an early morning in Paris a motorcycle rider from SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) is shot by another person riding a motorbike who then helps himself to the documents he is carrying.

James Bond who has just completed another task is sent to Paris to investigate. His findings are that a Soviet team is in the area. He sets a trap for them that more than relies on the help of local based British agent Mary Ann Russell.

CHAPTER 2: FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

Colonel and Mrs Havelock are in the garden of their house in Jamaica. They are visited unexpectedly by a Cuban who wants to buy their house for his client. They refuse and get assasinated. The Havelock's were one of the original British families to arrive in Jamaica.

A month later James Bond meets with M (His commanding officer) who mentions that he is a personal friend of the The Havelock's and requests Bond to do so personal revenge. Intelligence has confirmed that the so called client is a Nazi who fled Germany and became part of the Batista regime and wants to leave Cuba before Castro takes power. He is currently in a house in Vermont near the border with Canada.

Bond has been supplied by ammunition by the Canadian Government on his arrival in Ottawa and has driven across into United States and made his way to the remote hideout where he comes across someone with revenge very much on her mind. It is the Havelock's daughter Judy.

CHAPTER 3: QUANTUM OF SOLACE

James Bond is between assignments in Nassau in the Bahamas. He is a guest of the Governor who tells him a story of a young diplomat he used to know and Rhoda Llewelllyn.

CHAPTER 4: RISICO

The Secret Service has been requested by Scotland Yard to stop a supply of narcotics reaching the UK from a crime organisation in Italy. James Bond travels there and meets some people that are different to what the first impression gives. Amongst them is Fraulein Lisl Baum.

CHAPTER 5: THE HILDEBRAND RARITY

James Bond has just finished a job in the Seychelles and is winding down before he comes home when he and Fidele Barbey (The local contact in the Seychelles) are invited by a millionaire American Milton Krest the owner of a chain of hotels. To avoid paying taxes Krest has setup a foundation of species of the animal kingdom and gets round other regulations by using the Smithsonian institution as cover.

Bond is needed to help find a rare specimen of fish called the Hildebrand Rarity. Only one of these was ever caught by a Professor Hildebrand in the 1920's on Chagrin Island.

The journey to this island is taken on board the Wavekrest. The yacht owned by Milton Krest who is a most despicable. man. Also on this voyage is Liz Krest. Who is the fifth Mrs Krest.

The Hildebrand Rarity is captured again but has the last say on the matter.
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on 28 April 2015
In For Your Eyes Only, the eighth book published in the 007 series, we get a mixture of five Bond short stories. Most of the stories are standard adventures but a couple are more experimental tales. For example Quantum of Solace and The Hildebrand Rarity.

– From A View To A Kill is about the routine life of a spy. It sees Bond on a minor mission which doesn't include world domination.
– Quantum of Solace is a non-spy related story. Bond listens to a story of a disaffected marriage . This gives an insight into Bond’s psyche and mindset.
– Risico sees Bond blocking the flow of heroin into England.
– In “For Your Eyes Only”, Bond takes a personal assignment from M tracking the killers of his friends.
– The Hildebrand Rarity is like For Your Eyes Only. It reduces Bond to an observer.
The stories are all entertaining enough and show Fleming trying out different ideas and styles. Fleming seems to paint a more rounded picture of Bond as he deals with a variety of situations. He also explores the compassionate and human side of Bond too

Justice and revenge are themes that run through two of the stories. In “For Your Eyes Only” Fleming examines revenge from several angles: Bond’s, M’s and Judy Havelock‘s and each has a different interpretation. Bond’s approach to killing is also dissected in “For Your Eyes Only” whilst the morality of killing is a theme in “The Hildebrand Rarity”.

Bond’s relationship with M is studied in “For Your Eyes Only”, with Bond taking a difficult decision for M. This shows that even M has to grapple with the uncertainties related to the weight of command. It also highlights that Bond respects M as he understands that he’s trying to do his best for his country.

He comes across as almost an environmentalist in “The Hildebrand Rarity”. Contrast this to Bond’s love of the finer things in life.

As a fan of the Bond movies I could recognise the story elements and titles which ended up in the films For Your Eyes Only (1981), A View to a Kill (1985), Licence to Kill (1989) and Quantum of Solace (2008).

So in summary, while these stories are out of the ordinary they could have been better. For example, they could have filled in some of Bond’s back story: what did he do in WW2 or flesh out the details behind his 00 status, for example. There is less racism and sexism than previous books but I think this just because there are less words! I definitely preferred the longer Bond novels. The plots are better, the villains are crazier and character interactions and relationships better explored.
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Published in 1960, this collection of short stories was the eighth print outing for Ian Fleming's superspy James Bond. By using a short story format Fleming was forced to write pithier, faster tales than a full length novel, but was also free to experiment a little with his story telling and tell stories that would just not sit comfortably within the usual Bond milieu. For my money it is one of Fleming's best pieces of writing. Story by story:

From a view to a kill - This is a `straight' Bond adventure, a fast paced thrilling ride from start to finish, with a lot of incident packed into it. The tale opens dramatically with the murder of a dispatch rider in France. Bond is sent in to try and find the killer, and soon is onto a hitherto unseen trail due to an old maxim of M's. There is an interesting investigation and the tales ends with a thrilling action set piece.

For your eyes only - The tale opens with the brutal murder of an elderly couple in Jamaica. Bond is dispatched by M to avenge the murder, as it turns out the couple were old friends of M. The meeting between M and Bond is superb, and starts a running theme throughout the story of the morality of Bond's actions, and the weight that is sometimes on M's shoulders. There is a vividly drawn section with Bond closing in on his prey, and a tensely written and thrilling final shootout. It's the best of the `straight' adventures here.

Quantum of solace - Don't worry, this bears no resemblance to the film, it is much much better. This is the first of the tales here in which Fleming tries to do something different. Bond is attending a dull dinner party, after it ahs finished hi host starts to tell him a story about one of the hosts old friends, his emotional shortcomings and the break-up of his marriage. It's a clever piece of writing, managing to bring this every day tale into the Bond Milieu, and showing Bond's more human side as he reacts to the tale. Fleming in previous books had a really vivid prose style that he used to great effect to describe physical situations, here he uses it to similarly good effect to describe the emotional situation as he dissects the marriage. It's a superb piece of writing.

Risico - Another straight Bond adventure in which he is sent off to Italy to deal with a smuggling ring. After his initial contact with an informant he sets off to kill Enrico Columbo, who he has been told is the head of the racket. But after a dramatic scene, Columbo captures Bond and in a well written meeting the two men become friends. Columco tells Bond that he has been set up by the informer, adn they set off together to deal with the real villain in another excellently portrayed shootout.

The Hildebrand rarity - The second experimental tale here. Bond is travelling on a yacht with a tycoon and his wife. The tycoon is a bully, and regularly beats his wife. He is also searching for a rare fish, the Hildebrand rarity of the title. After finding and killing the fish, he is later found dead himself. After an internal debate, Bond sets the scene to make it look like an accident rather than murder, so as to save himself from being embroiled in a murder investigation, and because he feels sorry for the wife. This is another tale that focuses on Bond's human side, and looks at his attitude to death and morality.

The book is worth 5 stars.
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